Will Ospreay – top int’l star’s interesting journey to New Japan through U.K., TNA & WWNLive

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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With the U.K. independent wrestling scene becoming more popular in recent years, wrestlers like Will Ospreay are in high-demand.

Ospreay has already had an interesting start to 2016 and it will get more interesting in the second quarter of this year.

PWTorch has learned that Ospreay has a deal with New Japan to join their roster in April. It’s unclear if he has signed a deal or is working on a handshake agreement like most foreign talent. But, he is expected to be a featured wrestler and not just brought in to work preliminary matches.

Ospreay gained attention from New Japan officials as part of NJPW’s international expansion into the European market. They are expected to make him a part of the “Best of the Super Jrs.” tournament this spring.

Ospreay will also be in Texas as part of WrestleMania Weekend. WWNLive has announced Ospreay for their “More Than Mania” Weekend shows April 1-2 in Dallas. Ospreay is then expected to join New Japan.

WWNLive’s announcement this week reads: “We are very excited to announce that Will Ospreay will make his EVOLVE debut in Dallas. Ospreay is making headlines all over the world from TNA to New Japan. He is signed for EVOLVE on April 1 and April 2.”

Another layer to the story includes Ospreay’s involvement at TNA’s U.K. TV tapings in January in his home country.

TNA booked Ospreay along with Jimmy Havoc and Big Damo, then marketed their inclusion by running a poll on which star the U.K. fans wanted to see on the tour. All three ended up being announced for the tour.

At the tapings, Ospreay informed TNA officials that he had agreed to a deal with New Japan, which he wanted to be kept under wraps until New Japan announced him for shows.

TNA went ahead with their plans for Ospreay at the U.K. TV tapings. PWTorch has learned that TNA wanted to do more with Ospreay in the future if they were able to sign him. Once it was known that he was heading to New Japan, TNA went ahead with the scheduled plans from when they booked him in December, and limited his involvement to that.

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Also of interest is the week before the TNA TV tapings, Ospreay dropped the PROGRESS Title to Marty Scurll at PROGRESS 25 in London. This quietly freed him up from the role of top champion for one of the U.K.’s premiere promotions. He is currently not advertised for the next PROGRESS show on February 14.